Working in the trenches

 Noona earlier this week observing the kittens play.

Thank you ALL so much for your immense kindness. Your words have warmed so much and encouraged me hugely. They have helped carry me through a very painful week.

As mentioned in the last post Noona went in for her second treatment for mammary hyperplasia. During the afternoon though, after having come back from the vet, she developed a bit of a peculiar behavior. She started eating bits of gravel from her toilet tray, stopped drinking, ate very little and seemed generally very tired. I spoke with different vets to try to collect some intelligence about this peculiar behavior and were told to give it a bit of time. The next day she developed a cold (again) - she just finished a course of antibiotics for a cold. This made it somewhat difficult to discern her symptoms because it is a well known fact that a cat (just like humans) doesn't really eat or drink if it is unwell. I was adviced to replace the gravel in her toilet tray with sand - which I did - and then she started licking the sand! Still not drinking any water. Yesterday morning I brought her back to the vet  to be monitored and to have some intravenous fluid. Well I just came back from visiting her. She seems to be doing well - they haven't observed her eating from the toilet tray and she is eating a little. I had a lovely nuzzle with her - nose to nose as we do - and I felt moved when she wanted to show me her 'good-will' by eating as eagerly as she could. She will be taken off the intraveenous fluid this afternoon and if she remains as stable as she is now, she will come home tomorrow morning. Her treatment for the hyperplasia has otherwise worked really well - they swelling has gone down so much. Unfortunaly the treatment is so new that no written documentation exists about possible side effects in cats (only in dogs). I need this little girl to recover and come home (I told her I would collect her tomorrow!) - because it has been an otherwise very sad week.

The mammary glands having shrunk so much that Noona can finally sit with her front paws together.

Last weekend two new feral cats appeared in the garden. An adult and a 6-7 month old kitten. Both extremely emaciated. The mature cat ate well - the little one tentatively. As with feral cats you can't actually get too close -  but I could see the little one wasn't too well and I've frankly never seen a cat with such sad eyes. You know, where you can see the expression in the eyebrows. It was very painful. I instantly tried to establish a connection because I knew this one too had to go to the vet. I simply sit down on the floor at what for them will feel like a safe distance. And I start to talk. I let the cat know that it is safe and that I will look after it - if it will allow me to. She - I named her Kimmie - listened and within the next couple of days she was within an arms reach. I could see her breathing was strenuous. Monday night I told her to be there in the morning if she would allow me to get her help (I was going to vet with Noona and thought to bring this one along). She wasn't there in the morning (guess I forgot to be specific!) but suddenly in the evening she appeared before me - clearly not with an ounce of energy left. It was just before closing time at the vet so I leapt for a transport box and my mobile phone and asked if I could bring her in. They instantly brought him! into intensive care. Upon examination the following morning it turned out he had a very bad double-sided pheumonia and they put him on intravenous antibiotics. I prayed and I prayed... I so badly wanted this little beauty - a long haired brown tabby - to live. But sadly this morning, as I received the news that Noona was stable,  Kimmie had just given up the battle. The pain stung so badly. The inevitable I should have gotten him there earlier kicked in. And then there's the mental predicament. Why do I get so carried away by these little furry lives? 

I just can't stand their pain. I can't stand the thought that they don't actually stand a fighting chance. This week I also pulled aside a 10-12 week old kitten that had just gotten run over by a car. They matter so little that no one can be bothered to check on the life they've just left behind to die. And another kitten - even younger - that sat at the dumpster for a few days looking for food. I fed it for a few days but it has now disappeared. Gone no doubt. 

Many years ago I was taught a valuable lesson - that just because you care or do a kind act - you shouldn't expect from others to do the same. You do it because that is how you have decided to be as a human. Sometimes it feels as if I'm working in the trenches on my own - but at the end of the day... I feel so honored.

P.S. Mariette, my dear friend, thank you so much for the Sunshine award. I will return to that in my next post.


Crafting Queen said…
Thank you for caring enough to do something for these little creatures when you can. I do feel your pain for the little one that were lost. Do remember all the ones you have helped and are helping. Hope Noona will be home with you soon. (((HUGS))). Anesha :)
MarkD60 said…
This cat looks a lot like my old cat Toby Homie Cat Dude.
Marg said…
Oh gosh, I know just how you feel. I am so sorry the little kitten didn't make it but let me tell you something. I have been around feral cats for a very long time and there is no way you could have gotten the kitten to the vet any sooner. If you had forced the capture, he would have died right there on the spot. It is so hard with the feral ones.
I was at our dump the other day and there were 12 feral kittens and their two moms there and I wanted to bring them home but I don't have anywhere to put them. It is impossible to find homes for feral cats and that I why I have 18 here. It is driving me nuts that I can't go get them.
So sending lots of purrs to Noona. Glad she is a little better. You do great things with all those kitties.
Take care.
Unknown said…
my dear , its so important what you are doing for all the pets, lovely animals, have a big hugh Kathrin
Catherine said…
it breaks the heart what some animals have to go through. Life isn't fair sometimes.

Sending you a big hug!
xo Catherine
Sylvia said…
What a touching post, Joan, so sorry that kitten didn't make it.
Glad Noona is feeling better, hope she will be back home soon !
So much caring, those cats are lucky to have you, Joan !
Moesj was also a feral cat, she's nearly 6 years with us now and still very shy.
Gave her a kiss from you :-)
Deb said…
I'm sending you a big hug and I want to remind you that you make the difference for those who you can help. The fact that Kimmie didn't die alone in a bush makes a difference. The fact that she was held and someone cared makes a difference. Noona would have suffered such pain alone, dying but you stepped in and made the difference for her. You can't save them all, you are only one person. But what you do and what you write about on this blog will reach others and maybe make them think and act differently when they see an animal in need and that my dear girl, makes a big difference. You are doing more than you realize. Hugs, Deb
Julia Williams said…
I'm so sorry you're having a tough time right now. Sending a whole box full of purrs and prayers for Noona to get well quickly.

As an animal lover to my core, it is very hard for me to comprehend the casual attitude and/or indifference some have toward their suffering. I'm pretty sure that if one has "past lives," mine have all been as an animal.
sunshine said…
I am so happy that Noona is making progress, perhaps not as fast as you'll like, but give it time and have faith that God is helping you with this amazing task.
Don't feel as if you are on the trenches, what you are doing is such an inspiration and if only I was closer to you, I will be giving you a hand (literately) with your quest to make a difference in the life of these "God Little People".
Have a great weekend!!!
Anna E said…
Gosh - I am SO sad to hear about little Kimmie. I feel your pain so clearly and wish I could bring Kimmie back! But please don´t blame yourself for bringing him in "too late". You did absolutely everything that you could do, and even more. And you know - and God knows - that this little beauty felt the blessing of love and care in his last days of life..!!
Even more heartbreaking to hear about the kittens, you describe. There are hardly any words that match the kind of wrongful ignorance they are subject to.
But dear Joan, what an uplifting message about Noona, thanks so much for sharing it. Isn´t that the sunshine story of today? I´m so pleased to hear how well har treatment at the vet´s has now helped, and from her look I can feel that she is a strong survivor, so don´t worry.
Blessings and compassion - A.
Daisy said…
I am sorry little Kimmie had to go to the Rainbow Bridge. I am glad that at least he wasn't alone in his final hours.

I am glad sweet Noona is getting better.
Bossy Betty said…
So much sadness. I am so glad there are people like you to care about, defend and help our furry friends. My son and his girlfriend are currently trying to rescue some kittens someone threw in the dumpster. I knew I raised a good boy when he spent hours yesterday trying to help them.
There is no doubt about it when you open your heart ... heartbreaking things happen. But, through those heart breaking moments there is always a ray of light and a fairy tale ending. It may only be one out of a handful but it is so worth the open heart. YOU are such a generous soul and I am glad you are there for those who need so much from so many of us.
Thank you for your kind thoughts on Abby's birthday!

Dearest Joan,

My goodness... what a fate for Kimmie. Hind sight is always different but there must have been another human being that neglected these sweet creatures! And we grieve and feel sad because of them. IF humans ought to re-incarnate, I do wish that those who neglect them will have to return as a pet that will await such same fate.
I too will come back to you in my next post. Guess you are sleeping now after a stenous day. Can't believe how Noona's eyes are changing as she's already improved so much. Not there yet but she feels she's not doing it alone anymore. Sweet baby; she'll fight for you and for herself!
Lots of love and have a lovely Saturday!


Don't forget to read my post of July 2...
This ripped me apart. Poor little Kimmie. Don't beat yourself. You did the best that you could. No one else is near you to help, you were sent from God (I am sure) to help these amazing creatures and you do a remarkable job.

I pray your little Noona gets better with each passing day.

My heart breaks at the callousness of so many in this world, YOU are a breath of fresh air and a Godsend
Reena said…
Oh my heart breaks for these guys ... Keep doing your great work!!! And have a very nice weekend!
Jans Funny Farm said…
We're sorry about Kimmie. That would be upsetting, but there's only so much you can do to help. :(

Glad Noona is doing better.
Becca said…
I love your blog and always look forward to reading your posts and seeing your sweet photos! I adore cats and I am thankful there is someone like you that helps these little creatures. I cry when I read about some of the pain you have to indure, but try to focus on all the kittens out there that you are helping! You are a good person and I totally support what you are doing!
Blessings, Becca

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